Ryan Ludwick's forced time on the sidelines with his shoulder surgery and rehab has given him a renewed desire to play -- beyond this year and next.

"It's something that's going to prolong my career" he said. "I'm on a new program. It's kind of rejuvenated me. I get out here early and do my abdominal program. I stretch. I run. It's kind of taken me back to a place. ... When you're out four months you realize how much you miss the game.

"I realized I want to do everything I can to get in the best possible shape so I can try and make this thing last as long as possible."

Ludwick came out of his first game since Opening Day fine. He went 0-for-3.

"I feel great" Ludwick said. "I wouldn't be here if I wasn't ready to play nine innings. Now I've got to take those fastballs and hit them the way I want to -- instead of getting underneath them. I'm close. I was really disappointed I didn't get a hit. At least we won.

"I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be in the clubhouse. I try to have fun every day. That's probably the happiest 0-for-3 I ever had in my life."

Ludwick knows he has a ways to go at the plate.

"A lot of people are going to be questioning where's the power" he said. "You could see in BP back at home that the power is there. It's just consistency. I try to explain to people. (Normally) I hit two months before I go to spring training. Then you work out with the team; everyone's on level playing field.